Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 May 2013

Mandatory Monday*: Mountains out ot Molehills

This Tuesday edition of Mandatory Monday finds me building Mount Rushmores out of mashed potatoes. An all 3rd string QB Mount Rushmore, a USFL Mount Rushmore, a glasses Mount Rushmore, and much more.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 28 May 2013

21 comments, Last at 30 May 2013, 3:06pm by Dean


by Yaguar :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 10:39am

Brian Hoyer exerts a peculiar pull over some of my fellow analysts, who give him the "better than many starters" treatment. Hoyer was ordinary-at-best in college and has knocked around the Steelers and Cardinals inactive lists, but perhaps he absorbed pure awesomeness from Tom Brady during his period as the Patriots backup. The Jets coveted his services after the Cardinals released him in the offseason, but the Browns snatched him up. That sentence may be trying to warn us about something, but I will give my colleagues the benefit of the doubt, third stringer-wise.

Glad to see someone calling this out. Not every Patriots backup is some special little snowflake.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 10:46am

But Hoyer probably is the perfect backup QB, in the slightly-younger Charlie Batch mode -- he's good enough that you're not doomed if you need him, but not sufficiently good for your fan base to agitate for him replacing your starter.

He's like a good VP -- he could run the country, but not so good that you'd want him to.

by Dean :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 12:01pm

Have we actually seen enough of him to even say that much with any realistic degree of certainty?

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 4:24pm

As he is now on his 4th team in a 5 year career, we can at least say there are 3 NFL front offices who do NOT think he's the perfect backup QB.

by Jerry :: Wed, 05/29/2013 - 3:47am

FWIW, I've read that the Steelers were interested in (re)signing Hoyer during the offseason, but went in other directions when he wasn't available. It looks like they see some upside, but not enough to dump Gradkowski for him.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Wed, 05/29/2013 - 1:35pm

"It looks like they see some upside, but not enough to dump Gradkowski for him."

Best backhanded compliment I've seen in quite a while.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 12:33pm

Agreed, it used to be the same thing with backup Eagles too.

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 7:25pm

Weeden/Campbell are far enough ahead of Hoyer in camp right now that the latter is definitely not deserving of "better than some regular starters" treatment, even Gabbert/Henne, or Quinn/Cassell before Alex Smith came to KC.

It is an overwhelming probability that Hoyer will have to play a decent number of snaps (besides blowouts) given recent Browns injury history. They can survive a "decent number of snaps" given that he may be decent for a 3rd stringer, but not multiple starts or anything.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:38am

Campbell's one of those guys who's just star-crossed. Has he ever gone two consecutive seasons without his offense changing?

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 10:44am

You build Devil's Monuments out of mashed potatoes, Mike. Easy mistake.

by wr (not verified) :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 11:25am

[nitpick]Devil's Towers [/nitpick]. Also, making National Parks/Monuments out of
mashed potatoes tends to be an indication of alien invasion/visitation.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 5:17pm

[super-nitpick]Devils Tower[/super-nitpick]


by justanothersteve :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 12:51pm

How could you leave Reggie Roby off of Mt Puntsmore? Roby was as good as Landeta, who played so long that by the end of his career was becoming the Art Monk of punters. Roby wore a watch on the field. Reggie Roby had a great alliterative name and cooler initials. Landeta isn't even the best punter with the initials SL. All things being equal, the best guy has to be the guy who wore a watch on the field. Just because that's even cooler than glasses.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 2:35pm

I think Landeta deserves his place on the list. He was one of the top punters in the league for most of his career, he had *that* whiff as a signature moment plus he had longevity. 22 seasons in the NFL and 2 in the USFL. He was the last player from that league to retire in 2008, a couple of years after Doug Flutie.

In fact I might even be more tempted by Jeff Feagles than Reggie Roby. Feagles ended his career with the NFL record for consecutive games played, number of punts and yardage kicked. I saw him play for the Giants at Wembley in 2007 he and was masterful at kicking out of bounds to eliminate returns and gain field position. In fact he also holds the NFL record for punts inside the 20.

by Dean :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 4:28pm

I'll take Roby and the watch.

Actually, the other name we should be celebrating was Dave Jennings. His 11 years are pedestrian in comparison, but he was a 4x pro bowler and a 2x first team all pro. He played in an era where punting wasn't truly understood yet. Teams still used other players who doubled as punters back then. But yet Jennings was ahead of his time in a way that should resonate near and dear to this community. Jennings was the lone voice lobbying for punting statistics. It's because of Jennings lobbying the leage incessantly that they started tracking net average, touchbacks, and inside the 20 as official statistics. He ran a one man lobbying campaign in his offseasons to try to convince the NFL (and if you think the NFL resists stats now, try it 30 years ago!) that punters should be measured on more levels than just gross average and blocks.

Dave Jennings changed the way the game was played.

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 7:27pm

TJ Ward should be on Mt. Glassesmore. :)

by armchair journe... :: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 11:13pm

Too early for Lee. Give that spot to Jeff Feagles (who should've gotten at least an honorable mention)


by Ryan D. :: Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:05pm

Another great article by Mike on his tailgater blog:


by Dean :: Thu, 05/30/2013 - 8:53am

Only if you're into video games. I couldn't even finish it - which is unheard of for Tanier. If you're outside the target market, this one is a rare miss.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Thu, 05/30/2013 - 10:42am

I think it would still work outside the target audience as long as you watch the linked clip. That should provide enough context for all the jokes, since the jokes are then all related to things the players are "known for" or at least have been previously referenced about and the context of incredibly over the top "finishing moves" was established by the clip.

It may still not be be appealing for everyone and I'm not trying to say you read it wrong. I'm just pointing out my thoughts in case others are wondering if they should bother after seeing your comment. There have been Tanier articles in the past that I didn't finish, even though I chuckled at some of it, because it just wasn't appealing, even understanding where he was coming from. As you say it's a rare miss, but it's a selective miss, like most of his misses are. I'm sure this one is still a hit for a majority of his readers, even if it's a smaller majority than normal.

by Dean :: Thu, 05/30/2013 - 3:06pm

I'm stuck behind a firewall at a large company. So the video is blocked. That probably explains a bit. I suppose I could watch it at home, but I'd much rather be doing something outside. It's bad enough that I stare at a computer all day for work. Thanks for the clarification.